An experimental batch process for the production of refractory grade calcined and sintered alumina from smelter feed grade alumina

CIM Edmonton 2004
Abstract ‘Development and Piloting of a Flowsheet for the Production of Refractory Grade Sintered Alumina from smelter grade Ü-alumina.’

In 1997 and 1998, a pilot operation for the low-cost production of sintered alumina from refined bauxite (Ü-alumina) was designed and constructed through a Joint Venture between Rhino Minerals (SA) and Eggerding and Co of Holland. This paper reviews the design criteria, process design, equipment selection, construction, and commissioning of the pilot plant. Subsequent to commissioning, the flowsheet was optimized and modified to improve the production process and product characteristics. Aspects of the process such as the sodium removal, interdependence of the wet milling, pressure filtration and disk pelletization operations, and the impact of particle size distribution on sinter-kinetics will be discussed. A comparative review of the economics of production vs. conventional production techniques will be presented. Recommendations for future improvements to the process are made.
Keywords: ultrafine milling, Filtration, batch kiln, Refractories, sintered alumina, Pelletizing, Pilot plant
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